BEST FAIRY TALE SE­RIES

The Fresno Bee (Sunday) - - Cover Story -

“Faerie Tale Theatre” (Show­time, 1982-87) Shel­ley Du­vall, at that time best known as Jack Ni­chol­son’s ter­ri­fied wife in “The Shin­ing,” was the nar­ra­tor, host and driv­ing force of this live-ac­tion chil­dren’s an­thol­ogy se­ries that re­told pop­u­lar fairy tales with a twist. The se­ries won nu­mer­ous awards and at­tracted first-rate ta­lent, in­clud­ing Su­san Saran­don, James Earl Jones, Art Car­ney and Jean Sta­ple­ton in front of the cam­era, and Fran­cis Ford Cop­pola, Tim Bur­ton, Ni­cholas Meyer and Gilbert Cates be­hind it.

“The Charm­ings” (ABC, 198788) The tale of Snow White and Prince Charm­ing was played for laughs in this short-lived se­ries that saw the en­chanted cou­ple mag­i­cally trans­ported to the 20th­cen­tury suburbs of Los An­ge­les by an evil queen’s spell. Much of the com­edy re­volved around the cul­ture shock Snow (Caitlin O’Heaney and later Carol Hus­ton) and Charm­ing (Christo­pher Rich) ex­pe­ri­enced in their new sur­round­ings. View­ers never caught on.

“Beauty and the Beast” (CBS, 1987-90) Linda Hamil­ton and Ron Perl­man achieved TV star­dom with this first small-screen it­er­a­tion of the 18th­cen­tury French fairy tale, she play­ing a ris­ing Man­hat­tan dis­trict at­tor­ney and he as the sen­si­tive man-lion who watched out for – and even­tu­ally fell in love with – her. The re­la­tion­ship was never con­sum­mated and Hamil­ton’s char­ac­ter was killed off in Sea­son 3, leav­ing him with­out his soul­mate. The se­ries was can­celed not long af­ter.

“The Sto­ry­teller” (HBO, 1987-88) Mup­pets cre­ator Jim Hen­son brought to life this Bri­tish im­port, a live ac­tion/ pup­pet se­ries that re­volved around an old sto­ry­teller (John Hurt) sit­ting in front of a fire and telling Euro­pean folk tales to his sar­cas­tic dog (voiced by Brian Hen­son). Guest stars in­cluded Miranda Richard­son, Jonathan Pryce, Brenda Blethyn and Gabrielle An­war.

“Once Upon a Time” (ABC, 201118) This fan­tasy/drama about fairy tale char­ac­ters trans­ported to a sea­side Maine town by a curse starred Gin­nifer Good­win, Lana Par­rilla and Jennifer Mor­ri­son.

“Once Upon a Time”

“Faerie Tale Theatre”

“Beauty and the Beast” (CBS, 1987-90)

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